Thursday, March 29, 2007

Unexpected Opportunities

I was offered a potential job teaching a preschool class from 9-12 five days a week. It's not a guarenteed job, but I'm being given the heads up from the director to hand in my resume if I'm interested. I interested?

I had planned to begin teaching preschool when the boys were old enough to attend. Then I got pregnant with J and that plan had to change.

Teaching part time would give me the opportunity to teach again more than I'm doing now. I leave school every time I teach (Hebrew School, Religious School) so energized, almost walking on air. I really, really enjoy it.

My first concern was how I would deal with driving the kids to school, since they would need to be at kindergarten AFTER I would need to be at school and be picked up BEFORE I would be done. My sister thinks she can help with this, but can't 100% commit because she is consulting with her old job for a big project that will occur in October, so September and October might be a little crazy for her. But my mom also agreed that she would be able to help with driving. I also have a friend whose son might be in the same kindergarten class as the boys, and I might be able to get her to drive the boys to and from school, but that might be a huge imposition.

My other concern is how I would be able to continue getting everything done around the house like I've been doing. I've REALLY been enjoying having three mornings with all three kids in school, and I would lose that. BUT with the extra income I could afford to have all three kids stay at J's preschool twice a week after school for the enrichment program, giving me about two hours twice a week sans kids that I could use to pay bills, do paperwork, etc. PLUS I would have from now until September to "finish" organizing the house, in theory, which would make life easier. And I seem to think I might even use my time better if I had a set schedule every day.


Monday, March 26, 2007

This Was Not in the Manual

If someone had told me before I had kids that I would have to physically hold them down so I could pour drops into their ear to wash out the canal full of wax and dried blood while my daughter screamed, "No, Mommy, I don't care if my ear feels better! Stop, Mommy! Ow, it hurts, it hurts!" and that when it was over she would only go to my husband for a hug and not let me touch her, I don't know if I would have agreed to all of this.

J woke up Thursday from her nap complaining that her ear hurt. Took her to the doctor that afternoon (The other two were on amoxicillan at the time for various things, what's one more?) to get checked out. The doctor looked in her right ear but couldn't see anything due to the large amount of wax in the canal. He got his little tool, had me hold her down (fun), and began digging to attempt to remove the wax. The tool he had was not working so he had to stop, go into another room, get yet another tool, and start again. Finally he removed a large chunk of wax, but there was still too much in her ear for him to determine if she had an infection. By this time she was hysterically crying, so I scooped her up and comforted her. He told me that he accidentally nicked the inside of her canal. There was no blood, it looked fine, we left with a prescription to fill in case she continues to complain about ear pain and instructions to give drops of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water to clean out the wax. She was hysterical even after we got home, at one point crying, "I can't stop crying!" It was really pathetic.

That night she had a hard time falling asleep. Apparently she usually sleeps on her right side and laying on her ear hurt (understandably). When she woke up and came to me in the morning, I had to check myself to stop from gasping too loud. Her entire ear and side of her face were covered with dried blood. She hadn't realized this yet (though was puzzled at the red on her fingers) so I was able to casually clean off her cheek somewhat, but going near her ear made her scream and put her hands over it. I totally understood that she was terrified to let me go near her ear after the day before, but I had to clean the dried blood out of her ear. I worked on it with a warm washcloth several times that day and managed to clean all but the inner ear.

Which brings us to tonight.

Nothing says love like doing what needs to be done to make your child feel better even if it makes them scared of you in the short (oh, it had better be short) term. Really. Now if I could just convince myself of that....

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I've Updated - finally!

Yes, it's true, you can now read an updated list of blogs, websites, and a new and improved profile. Woohoo.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I Feel Huge

I'm tired of this.

My weight is going in the wrong direction. My clothes aren't fitting, I hate looking at myself in the mirror, I don't even want to be in any pictures.

I'm praying that this feeling will give me the motivation to stick with the my plan to eat right. I can't take this anymore.


Comedy of Errors

The whining, the screaming, the crying - and that's the girl who's not sick!

Monday afternoon, with B sick sick sick (we found out yesterday it was strep, he's now on antibiotics and feeling much better, but as of Monday he just had a very high fever and felt like crap) and A at a birthday party (another mom from school took him and he did great without me there - yes!), J decided it was time to just cry. She cried if I talked to her, she cried if I didn't. She screamed if I ignored her and screamed louder if I gave her attention. It was a very long day, and no, she wasn't sick. She was making me sick, but she herself is fine.

After offering a huge list of different things that we could do, I finally silenced her with the offer of painting her nails. We had never done that before, so I hoped the novelty of it would not just silence her but actually make her happy. I was half right.

J sat on my lap and quietly watched while I painted her nails. She seemed to love the attention and I thought I had found the solution, the antidote to her unhappiness. It was short-lived. She soon touched a nail and became very upset that some of the polish was now on her finer and the nail was very smudged. I tried to fix it, but then two fingers on the other hand got stuck together when the nail touched the other finger. By now she was crying hysterically again. So I ran to the closet to get the polish remover (and almost sent an emergency call to anyone to run out and buy us some more nail polish remover when I couldn't find it, but luckily I eventually located it).

I calmed her down again when I started removing the polish. Okay, no big deal. Until she touched her still damp finger to her tongue and began gagging and crying hysterically at the awful taste. I grabbed her and brought her to the bathroom were I got her to drink a lot of water and rinse out her mouth as much as possible. Then we washed her hands multiple times so she wouldn't get the smell or taste in her mouth again.

Wow, what a winning idea painting her nails turned out to be.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Busy, busy, busy!

B woke with a high fever today, so we cancelled the playdate I had scheduled for today for J and made arrangements for A to be taken to an afternoon birthday party for today.

Arrived at the Temple yesterday for religious school only to discover that the parking lots were a thick sheet of ice. We quickly made the decision that we had to cancel for the day since we didn't want anyone to fall. Spent the next hour calling all the kids in our classes to tell them not to come. Had time at home to relieve DH from watching the kids so he could get some school work completed, then had some time alone to work on some paperwork before heading to my in-laws for dinner.

J's birthday party was Saturday, and while we contemplated having to cancel due to the freak snow/ice storm from Friday, we didn't need to and she loved having her friends come over for a Wiggles party. Later that day we hosted the whole family for dinner and cake.

Friday A woke screaming that his ear hurt. Knew it was an ear infection, but still needed to bring him to the doctor for confirmation and medication. Sleet/freezing rain began early in the morning and soon gave way to snow and ice. We had to cancel my preschool lunchtime Shabbat program. My incredible sister came over with my niece and nephew for lunch and then stayed until dinner. We tried to get the kids to take a nap, but they all refused, making it a loooong afternoon. Got in a big fight with DH since I saw no problem with going to my parents' for Shabbat dinner (especially since we had to shovel their driveway anyway) but I found the roads fine as long as I drove carefully. My sister, DH, and I all took time shoveling out their driveway, though when we left after dinner, my parents' driveway looked like we hadn't even touched it.

It's been busy over here!

I have a ton of laundry to do today, and a lot of little areas to declutter and clean around the house, so B and J are camped out on the couch watching tv (only way I can get B to rest, and there's no way I can make B do it and not let J). I'm off!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Money, Money, Money, Money

I just read a book about a mom with three kids who was homeless - they all lived in the car. She worked, waiting tables, trying to save up enough money to be able to afford a security deposit and first month's rent for an apartment, which she eventually does.

How dare I complain about money?

Yes, money is tight here, and we are currently living paycheck to paycheck. Yes, it's hard some months to pay the mortgage, and I need to budget very carefully to pay for the groceries. BUT I have a roof over my head. We have insurance. We are all wearing clothes and even have our own washing machine and dryer to keep them clean, and the electricty to run it.

I need to stop looking at the glass as half emtpy. At least we can afford the glass.


I'm not too fond of Blogger these days.

I have had so much to say, so much to record, so much I've been thinking about, and for some reason, Blogger has not been letting me get on my account to update my blog.

One really important thing happened Monday - did you hear the cheers coming from our house? A told me that he just pooped (a huge thing by itself since he usually has little awareness of his bodily funtions) and while I was cleaning him off, he told me that he thought he had a little more poop inside of him. He agreed to sit on the potty and actually managed to push a little bit of poop out. The smile that came over his face at his accomplishment was priceless (though the pricetag on the Gameboy he received as his reward, promised months ago, was HUGE!) - clearly he was not scared or upset about the poop going in the toilet instead of his pull-up or any such scenario as I imagined. He hasn't repeated this enormous event since then, but did voluntarily sit on the potty at school to try to do it again. Hopefully this is the start, the "breakthrough" that we needed, and we will be able to get him to do this more and more often. I'm just so incredibly proud of him!

Friday, March 09, 2007

What Do You Think?

I need some advice.

I just got a call from someone who wants to hire me for her son's birthday party. Great! However, it's a very specific theme (Herbie the Love Bug) which I doubt anyone else will want, though I might be able to use some aspects again with other more common themes (cars, racing). This wouldn't be a big deal, but she won't commit until I send her the proposed list of things I will do with her kids. She wants to make sure it will definitely keep the kids' attention.

My concern is what if I do all the planning, send her the ideas, and she doesn't hire me, choosing instead to do it herself (using my ideas). I will have spent the time researching/planning without any compensation for it.

I guess I can plan stuff out and try to keep it more general. I just don't know.

What do you think?

Thirteen Letters To Whom It May Concern

To Whom It May Concern:

1) Blogger hijacked my blog until I agreed to sign up for the new version. Since I did that it has given me more trouble than I ever had before to get into my blog to write a new post. I would like to switch back to the old version immediately OR have this problem resolved so I don't end up with five different blog posts floating around in my head.

2) Please find the sweet little girl that you stole from my house and replaced with this whiny, pushy, bossy one. The boys and I would really like her back.

3) When I took my five year old son to the "Dysfunctional Outpatient Voiding and Eliminating" Clinic (DOVE for short) I expected to receive some advice on helping him learn how to use the toilet. I did not want to hear that he just might not be ready to learn yet since he still has bowel movements in his sleep. That is NOT helpful. He is five. I do not want him going to kindergarten in diapers. Please rethink your advice and create that magic pill that I was seeking.

4) The parking garage at the DOVE clinic is the most poorly designed that I have ever seen. I spent literally twenty-five minutes driving around the garage to find a spot. Granted, it was a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate to my son various techniques to use when upset (see how Mommy takes deep breaths) it would not have been necessary it the garage was not so counter-intuitive in design. Please create a new design and submit it to me by next week.

5) The dishwasher fairy no longer lives in our house. Do not lay your used ice cream spoon on the side of the sink and expect her to magically transport it into the dishwasher - please do it yourself.

6) When you receive the flyer advertising an incredible new birthday party service and it has a coupon attached to it that expires at the end of the month, please be inspired to book your child's next birthday party immediately. Miss R's new business is still in the red.

7) My family quite enjoyed the warm weather that we had next week and was quite surprised when the cold weather appeared and the snow fell on Wednesday. Please keep in mind that it is now March. We expect spring to be arriving any day now. Please cooperate with this expectation.

8) Removing Thursday from my consciousness was not a very nice thing to do. I was quite surprised yesterday when I looked at the Thursday Thirteen site and saw so many postings, especially since it was Wednesday (at least in my mind). I have too much to do to lose a day like that.

9) I just started the Best Life Diet and am loving it.

10) If you are a library and you received an e-mail describing an incredible show based on the state's summer theme "Find a clue at the library" you should be falling over yourself to book a date for your library. Again, Miss R's business is still in the red.

11) We are waiting quite impatiently for our income tax return to arrive.

12) My children are quite desperate for the bunk beds we will be buying as soon as we receive it, especially J since she is currently sleeping on a mattress that is on the floor of the boys' room.

13) Finding thirteen ideas for letters was NOT as easy as I thought it would be. Please remind me of that if I ever want to do this again.

Monday, March 05, 2007

300th post

I believe I have earned some sort of celebration - this is my 300th post! Wow, that sure seems like a lot to me!! :)

My big brother

I have had so many posts bubbling and percolating in my brain that I actually am starting to dream about them. And I don't just mean dreaming about what I'm going to write about, I mean actually dreaming of my fingers hitting the keyboard as the thoughts spew out on the computer screen. That's not weird, is it?

I had a dream two nights ago about my brother. He and I were sitting in his old bedroom of our old house, just kind of hanging out.

To understand how truly bizarre this dream is you have to understand that my brother and I have NEVER hung out together. We never had a "typical" brother/sister relationship. My brother is clinically hyperactive, and if you look up the symptoms of what that means, my brother fits every symptom to the nth degree. Growing up I didn't know that - I just knew that living with him was challenging, to say the least. He was extremely impulsive and violent, especially to me. I came home from school one day and he flew down the steps at me and pinned me against the door, my arm twisted behind my back. I had followed him next door to our neighbor's house one day and climbed the tree after him and his friend. Once I was sitting on the tree house's ledge, my brother pushed me out, face first. My very first memory is of us walking back home from our neighbors after retrieving a railroad tie that for some reason they allowed my brother (who was four at the time, two years older than me) carry. That was my first trip to the hospital, taken there after my brother threw it at my head.

And when "I" wasn't being violent in action, he was being violent with words, intimidating and yelling at all of us. My parents did the best they can, but it's hard to remember family dinners without remembering the screaming matches between my parents and my brother. All in all, my brother really colored my memories of my childhood, enough for me later to get diagnosed with PTSD. But that's another story for another time.

Back to my bizarre dream. "I" was showing me how he was selling so much of his stuff on this version of e-bay. He told me how angry he was that Mom and Dad threw him out and made him take all his stuff, so this is what he was doing to get rid of it all (by the way, my parents never threw him out, so this was interesting - wishful thinking on my part?). He also told me about his two girls that he now has, one named Isabella and the other named Quiet (?) but he had some nickname for her that I forget. It was very interesting having an adult conversation with him, even if it was in a dream.

I have talked with my brother since we have become adults, but he is a very superficial person, so it's hard to have any kind of "real" conversation with him. He has chosen to separate himself completely from us. My parents still talk to him on the phone once a week, but he comes to very few family events and never returns my sister's phone calls (she still tries to have a relationship with him, I don't bother).

I don't feel anger towards "I". I have forgiven him for the traumas in my childhood. I know much of it was beyond his control. I have learned that my mom did everything she could to make sure I was never left alone with him, but she couldn't be there 100% of the time. I feel indifference to him. Sometimes that makes me sad that I never got to have that big brother that I've heard others talk about. But that's just the way things worked out.

I suppose I could work on this some more, revise it, make it look clever and insightful, but I mainly wanted to record this dream so I could remember it later. So for now, that's all I have to say about that.